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Mersal row: Producers extend an olive branch, say they will delete scenes that have caused ‘misunderstanding’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing flak from the Tamil Nadu BJP over dialogues allegedly flaying the GST in “Mersal”, the film production house today said that if needed, it would delete scenes that have caused “misunderstanding”.It also said that the BJP’s opposition to some dialogues in “Mersal” was “just” from its own perspective.Giving indication that a truce had been reached between the production house and the state BJP, the producers claimed that BJP leaders have accepted their explanation.References to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the just-released Vijay-starrer film had not gone down well with the BJP.Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and the party’s national secretary H Raja strongly opposed it, claiming that some dialogues were “highly inappropriate”.Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “interfere” and saying that cinema was a “deep expression” of Tamil culture.Sri Thenandal Films head Murali Ramaswamy said, “From their perspective, their opposition is just. If opinions (expressed in the movie) that may lead to misunderstanding need to be removed, we are ready for that too.” The BJP leaders have appreciated “our honest approach to meet them in person, we thank them all”, the film’s producer said after a meeting with state BJP leaders, including Soundararajan, here.”We explained the movie’s objective, our stand and that this movie has not been produced with an intention to hurt anyone and they have generously accepted it,” he said.”Mersal” (a colloquial Tamil word, the meaning of which is getting stunned) is not against anyone, Ramaswamy said in a statement.”It is not a film that expresses opinions against the government either. Even an ordinary person should get access to proper medical amenities and this is the story line of the movie,” the production house head said.However, he did not elaborate whether the BJP leaders insisted on removing views they found “objectionable” or whether the producers will effect the cuts or not.Even before the movie was released there were some “controversies”, which were “set right”, he said, adding “it is anguishing that the film has courted several controversies within a few days of its release”.Noting that “Mersal” was the company’s 100th production, Ramaswamy said that the entire team worked hard for a year to make the film and it was screened after overcoming several hurdles.”… There is an investment of many crores of rupees and the labour of thousands of workers,” he said.The goal of the firm is to produce movies of good entertainment value. “If anyone was hurt because of our production, I consider it as my own regret”, the producer said, adding that the film was running successfully.Sri Thenandal Films is a well-known film production house in Tamil Nadu.Meanwhile, in a statement, the Tamil Film Producers Council and South Indian Artistes’ Association opposed cuts as the movie had already been censored.They claimed that it went against the right to freedom of expression and will set a bad precedent.

Vilification of Taj Mahal shows BJP’s intolerance: Kerala CM P Vijayan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Left parties on Saturday said the vilification of the Taj Mahal by BJP leaders exposed their “intolerance” towards matters they could not associate themselves with.Inaugurating a ‘Jana Jagaran Jatha’ organised by the ruling CPI-M led Left Democratic Front (LDF) here, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan flayed the statement of BJP leader Vinay Katiyar that the Taj Mahal was previously a Shiva temple.”It all started when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath omitted the Taj Mahal from the list of important places to visit in that state.”It showed that…they cannot tolerate the name Shahjahan, who built the historic and heritage structure,” he said, adding, “We have to seriously think as regards which direction our country is headed to.”Attacking the BJP-RSS, the CPI(M) leader alleged that the saffron party had a “clear agenda” behind raking up the issue of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and added, “They are attempting to trigger communal tension in the country by moving towards constructing the shrine.”He slammed the BJP-led central government and alleged that the federal principles had been thrown to the wind, in tune with the policy of the RSS, which believed in centralisation of power.Vijayan accused RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat of “defaming” Kerala with his statement that it had become a place for “Jihadis” under the LDF government.He also came down on the just-concluded Jana Raksha Yatra of the BJP in Kerala, which was attended by party president Amit Shah among others, and described it as an attempt to create tension in the southern state.The LDF has organised two ‘jana jagaran jatha’, one is being led by CPI state secretary Kannam Rajendran from here and another by CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod, to counter the BJP’s “communal agenda” and highlight the state government’s achievements.After flagging off the ‘jatha’ at Manjeswaram, CPI national secretary D Raja, criticising Katiyar’s remark on the Taj Mahal, said, “Now they (BJP-RSS) want to demolish the Taj Mahal.”He claimed that the RSS had become very influential at the Centre ever since Narendra Modi became the prime minister.”The RSS is an organisation with a communal and fascist ideology,” Raja said, adding, “Now they want to re-write history and their target is the Taj Mahal.” The ‘jatha’ led by Rajendran is scheduled to conclude at Ernakulam and the one led by Balakrishnan at Thrissur, after criss-crossing all the 140 Assembly constituencies of the state, on November 3.

Don’t invite me for Tipu Jayanti celebrations: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde on Saturday wrote a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s secretary and District Collector of Uttara Kannada district asking them not include his name in Tipu Jayanti celebration that will held on November 10.Reacting to Hegde’s letter, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said, “As part of the govt, he shouldn’t have written it. Invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebration will be sent out to all Central and state leaders, it’s up to them to accept or reject.”After witnessing major clash in 2015 in state over the celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti, the Karnataka Government last year decided to make the event an annual affair.The decision was taken by the government, based on inputs and detailed discussions held with historians and academicians. The event will be organised at the Ravindra Kalakshetra.The Congress government views Tipu Sultan as a patriot, who fought against the British. However, the BJP and the RSS views are completely different from those of the state government, who regard Tipu Sultan as a tyrant monarch and for his biasness against Hindus.Three people lost their lives in clashes in Kodagu in 2015 after outrage by anti-Tipu Sultan activists calling him a tyrant. Other reactions included BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, who accused the government of vote-bank politics.

Cops who let accused roam freely, suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven Delhi Police officers from the third battalion, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), two Head Constables and three constables, have been suspended for allowing an accused to roam around freely at a mall in Bengaluru where he was taken for court hearings. The accused man, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe the Election Commission officials in connection with the party symbol.The suspended police officers are ASI Rajesh, head constables Jeevan and J George, and constables Nitin, Keshav, Dharmendra, and Pushpendra. The officers were accompanying Chandrashekhar for court hearings in Mumbai, Coimbatore, and Bengaluru. The court hearings were scheduled from October 9 to October 16.”The Delhi Police officers were directed to escort him for court hearings in three cities. An inquiry has been initiated and all the alleged police officers have been suspended. The strictest possible action against the policemen will be taken. The Delhi Police stands against all such intolerant practices,” said Dependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police.In a report submitted by the Income Tax Department to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Chandrashekhar was allowed to roam freely while he was in Bengaluru with the police officers. Reportedly, he was even carrying out his business deals and shopping at one of the malls in Bengaluru.THE CASEThe accused, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials.

Innovative timetabling: Running time of 500 long-distance trains to reduce from November

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Railways will soon cut short the running time of over 500 long-distance trains by up to two hours, a senior railway official said on Friday.The new timings will be updated in the November timetable of the railways, he said.Following directions from railway minister Piyush Goyal earlier this month, the national carrier incorporated “innovative timetabling” under which running time of popular trains will reduce by 15 minutes to two hours.The new timetable will also provide each railway division two to four hours for maintenance works.”Our plan is to maximise the use of the existing rolling stock. It can be done in two ways – if we have a train that is waiting somewhere to return, we can use it during the lie over period.”In the new timetable around 50 such trains which will be run like this. Fifty-one trains will immediately see reduced run time from one to three hours. This will go up to more than 500 trains,” the official said.The railways has started the exercise of an internal audit through which 50 mail and express trains will be upgraded to super-fast services.This is part of an overhaul of the rail system of increasing the average speed of existing trains, he said.Trains such as the Bhopal-Jodhpur Express will reach 95 minutes early while the Guwahati-Indore Special will complete its 2,330-km journey 115 minutes early and the 1929-km journey of the Ghazipur-Bandra Terminus Express will be completed 95 minutes earlier.The national transporter has also reduced the halt time of trains at stations. Similarly, trains will not stop at stations where footfall is less.Coupled with track and infrastructure upgrade, automatic signalling and the new Linke-Hofmann-Busch coaches that allow a 130 kmph top speed, trains are expected to run faster.The railways has also in the process of reviewing permanent speed restrictions.

State poised for economic growth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>IndiaThe period between 3-5-2018 and 6-11-2018 will bring uncertainty. It will also see mishaps, earthquakes, violence and epidemics, besides a war-like situation. Individuals are likely to remain extremely tense and angered. Between May and October, there could be major flare ups in law and order. The period is crucial for internal as well as external security. Tensions in Kashmir, Northeastern states and Naxal-affected areas are likely. Religious conservative elements will become more powerful. Youth will become more vocal. Indian armed forces will gain strength with acquisition of advanced weaponery.Gujarat ElectionsSince the dates of elections have not been finalised, it is difficult to predict at this stage about the outcome of the elections. However, there are broad inferences about the key players in the war of votes. Opposition Congress party is well placed to make inroads into BJP bastions, provided it does not make any strategic blunders at crucial junctures. Stars are favourable for state’s growth on economic growth.Ties with China, PakThe planetary positions at the time of India’s independence from the British rule are such that it will never have harmonious relations with the neighbours. Samvat 2074 will be no different and border tensions with both China and Pakistan will intensify. The recent Doklam standoff will appear a minor episode when compared with things in store.Stock MarketStars are favourable for country’s economic growth and the equity markets in the New Year, but that will not be smooth.The year will witness high volatility on multiple occasions, keeping everyone on their toes. “Rahu will pass through five planets during the year. It will keep everyone in a state of illusion and catch them on the wrong foot. It will cause a lot of stress. Rahu is positioned in Cancer sign of India’s horoscope, from 18-8-2017 to 7-3-2019. This is indicative of a risky situation.However, Jupiter’s moves will try to moderate situation till 11-10-2018. It will favour Foreign Direct Investment in India. Saturn’s stay in Sagittarius, which is placed eighth in India’s horoscope, from 26-10-2017 to 24-1-2020, will bring a prolonged slowdown in the metal industry. However, counter moves by other planets will bring some hope.Industrial sectorsChemicals, fertilizers and textiles are sectors that are likely to fetch good returns, while one needs to be cautious in sectors like mines and minerals, petroleum, natural gas, steel and coal, where losses are likely.Planets are likely to induce heavy volatility sectors like railways, capital goods, road transport and highways, which are prone to higher risks during the year.Those in businesses related to these sectors or investing in stocks need to be extra cautious. The time period between 3-5-2018 and 6-11-2018 will bring extreme volatility in the equity markets. Stars advise you not to trade for short term, but have long-term planning.Narendra ModiThe PM will be under tremendous pressure during the year, but will steadfastly move ahead in all his previous initiatives and begin new initiatives in the next Samvat, which will define the moment when history will be written.Between November 2017 and April 2018, he may bring some radical changes, may be in taxation, that can shock the nation. His moves will be placed in history books, without which modern Indian history will be incomplete.Although he will face opposition from many quarters, that will not deter him from his chosen path. He will be more aggressive in matters related to external affairs.Amit ShahOverall, stars will benefit him, but he will face intense opposition from the party as well as alliance partners. He will be in a fire-fighting mode. He may become over-confident and that may cause him setbacks.Rahul GandhiThe scion of the Gandhi family is maturing and is a different person now. He will tighten his grip over party organisation. Stars favour him, but is prone to make strategic mistakes which can tilt the balance against him. He will be effective and aggressive in pointing out the shortcomings of the NDA government. This will raise his stature in politics.BJPThe year will be transformative for India’s largest party. The developments during the year will have long-lasting impacts on the party and that can last till 2022. The year will be a turning point of sorts and the impact of the events during the year will dwarf the impact of the landslide victory in UP elections.Congress PartyStars are favourable to boost the fortunes of India’s oldest political party and will provide opportunities for it to rise. However, much will depend on how they manage to make most of the situation. Movements of Saturn and Rahu can result in miscalculations at critical junctures.

From sweet box to inbox: India celebrates Diwali with traditional fervour and modern outlook

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As people across the country came together to celebrate the festival of lights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat joined the Armed Forces on the occasion.Modi visited troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez Sector and lauded the soldiers for their sacrifice saying he considers them his family.”I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” he wrote in the visitors’ book.Sitharaman celebrated the festival with military personnel at the strategically important tri-services command on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani of the border state of Gujarat also joined BSF jawans at the border outpost near Lakhpat in Kutch district to celebrate the festival.Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya from his 14-year exile after vanquishing demon-king Ravana.Besides sweets, people also exchanged funny social media memes and GIFs on the occasion as some made calls for a ‘Digital Diwali’– mindful probably of air pollution resulting from bursting of firecrackers.District inspector of schools in Nodia PK Upadhyay said one can experience the delight of bursting firecrackers digitally on mobile phones, laptops, and large screens.Shopping malls, too, should display crackers digitally through sound and light technology, he suggested.The Supreme Court recently banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi and National Capital Region till October 31 to curb the pollution caused by bursting them.Many took to the social media to say the celebrations this year was “peaceful” and “lesser noisy”.In Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the festival passed off peacefully as in other states, even as incessant rains dampened the spirit to some extent in eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha. The Golden temple at Amritsar was illuminated on the occasion.The festival was celebrated with fervour across the Jammu region including the areas close to the LoC and International Border.However, a senior BSF official said the force did not exchange sweets with Pakistani troops on the occasion, a practice which was a regular feature in the past.”When there is unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from Pakistan and civilian areas are being targeted regularly, such goodwill gestures are worth nothing,” the official said.Bollywood celebrities, including legends Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar and Dilip Kumar, sent out their good wishes to fans around the globe.”Diwali greetings begin in huge abundance…and we work …just so all the family can breathe peacefully,” Bachchan, 75, posted on Twitter.Urging fans to light at least one diya for the Army, actor Akshay Kumar wrote, “We are, because they (the soldiers) are.”In an exemplary show of empathy towards winged creatures, several villages in Tamil Nadu celebrated Diwali without bursting crackers to avoid scaring birds and bats in their areas.For a long time, people of Koothankulam village in Tirunelveli district, which has a bird sanctuary, have avoided bursting firecrackers during the festival.Also, the people of Vadamugam, Vellode and six other villages near the Vellode birds sanctuary in Erode celebrated the festival yesterday sans firecrackers to support birds for the 18th year in a row.

Sign of thaw? Mulayam, Akhilesh, Shivpal celebrate Diwali together in native Saifai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was seen with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav in Saifai here on the occasion of Diwali.While there has been friction between the members of the SP’s dominant clan in recent past, party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed today that there was “no discord”. “My entire family is united and there is no discord. This is the reason that we have come to the village (Saifai) to celebrate Diwali,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said. Saifai — the native place of the clan — witnessed Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, MPs Dharmendra Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav interacting with each other for nearly two hours.SP’s principal general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, who had met Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday, however, did not participate in today’s meeting. After the nearly two-hour-long meeting, all the clan members came out and sat in the lawn. Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav were part of the group even though they were not seen sitting next to each other, as there was a gapof a few chairs between them. Shivpal Yadav said, “Our entire family is one,” as he moved ahead.On October 5, Akhilesh Yadav was unanimously re-elected as the Samajwadi Party’s national president for a five-year term, consolidating his grip over the party even as Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav appeared sidelined. His re-election was announced by senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav at the SP national convention in Agra. The party’s constitution was amended to extend the tenure of the party chief to five years from the earlier three.Both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav skipped the event just as they had stayed away from the state executive meeting of the party in Lucknow on September 23. Akhilesh Yadav had personally invited his father for the national convention. In his address the former UP chief minister had said, “I requested ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) to attend the convention. Everyone would have liked it (his presence).” “I talked to him…before coming to the convention. I told him that it is a big convention and amendments in the party constitution will also be passed and without your blessings the party cannot progress,” he had said.Akhilesh Yadav had claimed that Mulayam Singh Yadav, “has given blessings to all of us” over phone and wished that the party is strengthened in UP and throughout the country. The SP has witnessed a bitter feud between Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav and this infighting adversely affected the party during the UP Assembly polls in which it performed poorly earlier this year.

Twitter praises PM Modi for celebrating Diwali with jawans in Gurez sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today celebrated Diwali with troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez Sector and lauded the soldiers for their penance and sacrifice saying he considers them his family.In an unannounced visit, Modi arrived at Gurez this morning to celebrate Diwali with the army and BSF soldiers posted along the LoC, officials said.He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years.This is the fourth successive Diwali that the prime minister has celebrated with jawans on the border.Chief of the Army Staff Gen B S Rawat and other senior army officers were present on the occasion.Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans, the officials said.Addressing the jawans, he said like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family.Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considers to be his “family”, he said.Modi said he gets new energy when he spends time among the jawans and soldiers of the armed forces and appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions.The prime minister said that he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practice yoga.He said that this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm.He said jawans, who leave the armed forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.The prime minister spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.He also encouraged the jawans to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer and mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day.Modi said the Centre is committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible.In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.Protecting the motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication, Modi said.”I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” the prime minister wrote in the visitors’ book.”To accomplish the dream of ‘New India’, this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The Army too is a part of it,” he added.

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with soldiers in J&K’s Gurez, calls them his ‘family’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday celebrated Diwali in the Gurez valley along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with the troops posted in the forward area.The Prime Minister spent nearly two hours with the troops and offered sweets and exchanged greetings with them. Addressing jawans, the PM said he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he had come among jawans, whom he considers his family.The PM also said that jawans who leave Armed Forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.”If we all take a resolution and work on it, then 125 crore Indians will bring India ahead by 125 crore steps by 2022, 75th year of Independence,” the PM said. Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu were also in Gurez accompanying the prime minister, an Army official said.Modi had spent Diwali with the people of Kashmir in 2014 in the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Valley.(With Agency Inputs)

NCP wins in village adopted by Devendra Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After claiming victory in the first round of Gram Panchayat elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a setback of sorts in the second leg, with the Opposition triumphing over BJP candidates in villages adopted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule.In Phetari village near Nagpur, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) claimed Dhanashri Dhomane won against BJP’s Jyoti Raut. It needs to be noted that Gram Panchayat elections are not contested on party symbols and the winning candidate is claimed by the party he or she is close to. Dhomane got 805 votes, while Raut got 710 votes. The result is significant as the village has been adopted by the CM under the Model Village Scheme.Fadnavis made light of the result, saying he had left it to the villagers whom they wanted as their sarpanch and did not appeal to vote for a specific candidate.Similarly, in Suradevi village in Vidarbha, Congress claimed victory against a candidate owing allegiance to BJP. Mukesh Dhomane, elected Sarpanch Danshri’s husband, told DNA that anger against BJP-led government policies reflected in votes. “Farmers are not happy with the BJP government for the delay in the farm loan waiver,” he said, “Unemployment is also a major issue in rural areas. People had hoped that the BJP government would bring some positive change in their lives, but nothing of sort happened. On the contrary, demonetisation and GST has adversely affected and worsened lives of peoples.”Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president, reiterated that the BJP was going on a return journey after Nanded. “This trend is now sweeping across Maharashtra, he said. “People have now realised that the BJP can only make tall promises, but it falters when it comes to fulfilment. People are losing jobs and inflation is also at an all-time high. Therefore, people want the Congress-NCP regime back.”Chavan further claimed that the Congress had got more seats and Sarpanch posts than any other party in the Grampanchayat elections. “Congress is the clear choice for the people; It has emerged the largest gainer in this Grampanchayat elections,” he added.NCP leader Ajit Pawar, too, attributed the turnaround in Congress-NCP fortunes to farmers’ discontent, the section that was most affected by government policies. “The rise in minimum support price has not been substantial,” Pawar told DNA. “When the BJP was in Opposition, they demanded Rs 7,000 per quintal as the rate for cotton. Even after three years in power, farmers are forced to sell their produce at much lower rate – between Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500 per quintal. BJP has failed to fulfil its own promises. Therefore they are losing everywhere – from Gurudaspur in Punjab to villages in Vidharbha.”

Each district should have Ayurveda hospital: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in New Delhi.Modi said each district in India must have an all-equipped Ayurveda hospital. “In the next three years, over 65 such AYUSH hospitals will be established across India,” Modi said.AIIA is already seeing over 750 patients each day in its initial phase. “It is estimated that the patient inflow will double in the coming days,” Modi said. He added, “The hospital has been equipped with modern infrastructure to deal with severe illnesses and ailments.”Set up in an area of over 10 acres with a budget of close to Rs 157 crore, the institute holds certificate of National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH).AIIA will work in close proximity with AIIMS, and Indian Council of Medical Research as well as other international organisations, for interdisciplinary and integrative health practice.Modi stressed on strengthening the supportive chain of structure for Ayurveda by developing arenas for having Panchakarma therapists, Ayurvedic dietitians and Ayurvedic pharmacists.The PM has also launched Standard Guidelines and Standard Terminology portal for Ayurveda treatment. He suggested that Ayurveda medicines be packaged in a modern fashion in addition to deciding standard guidelines to increase their acceptance and ease of use.Pharmacy standards for over 600 ayurvedic medicines have been published till now. “India will have to compete vigorously to carve a niche in the space of Herbal medicines that have been gaining popularity worldwide,” Modi said.The hospital block of AIIA includes units for neurology and degenerative disease care, rheumatology and musculoskeletal care, diabetes and metabolic/allergic disorders care, yoga, Panchakarma clinic, Kriya Kalpa, diabetic retinopathy and infertility.The hospital also has labs for pathology, biochemistry, microbiology and radiology. AIIA has started post-graduate programme (MD/MS) in Ayurveda in 2016-17 and PhD courses have been started since 2017-18.AYURVEDA INSTITUTEPM Modi inaugurated All India Institute of Ayurveda in New Delhi. The hospital was set up with a budget of Rs 157 crore. It has multiple departments, like neurology, diabetes, infertility, retinopathy apart from yoga, panchakarma.

Embrace and take pride in heritage: Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP made an attempt to douse the fire on the Taj Mahal controversy triggered by BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s comments that the monument was “a blot on Indian culture,” leaving the party red-faced.Underlining the significance of history and heritage in a nation’s development, the Prime Minister said no country can develop by ignoring its past. “No country could develop, however hard it might try, without embracing and taking pride in its history, heritage, culture and traditions. Countries that chose to forget heritage over development are sure to lose their identity,” he said, while speaking at the inauguration of the nation’s first All India Institute of Ayurveda, planned on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) in Delhi’s Sarita Vihar.BJP MLA Sangeet Som had, on Monday, questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had earlier said that the Taj Mahal did not reflect Indian culture, made a U-turn a day after Som said the monument was “built by traitors”. He said that the Taj was a historical monument, regardless of the emperor who had built it.”It is immaterial as to who and how the Taj Mahal was built…,” Adityanath said in Gorakhpur, “It was made by the sweat and blood of Bharat Mata’s sons. It is famous the world over for its architecture… it is a historical monument and its protection and further development for tourism is the responsibility of the government.”In a fire-fighting measure, he also announced that he would visit Agra on October 26 to review tourism schemes of the state government.”Our government is working to develop tourism around Kalinjer Fort (in Banda) and Rani Laxmibai’s Fort in Jhansi as well as the Chunar Fort (in Mirzapur),” he added.Som’s comments on the Taj Mahal had come after the Adityanath government omitted the 17th century monument from an official booklet on tourist destinations within the state.Meanwhile, after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned, on Monday, whether the Prime Minister would stop hoisting the flag from the Red Fort as it was “built by the same group of traitors”, Samajwadi Party general secretary Azam Khan was quick to quip that monuments such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Qutub Minar and Red Fort should be demolished as they too were “symbols of slavery”, just like the Taj Mahal.BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, on Monday, tried to defend Som. He had described Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” and asserted that BJP members could hold any opinion they wanted on specific monuments.

PIL seeking to treat Vande Mataram at par with Jana Gana Mana dismissed by Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A PIL seeking direction to treat the national song ‘Vande Mataram’, authored by poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, at par with the national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was today dismissed by the Delhi High Court.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that though it agreed with the petitioner’s view, but it cannot grant the relief sought.”Though we agree with the petitioner that ‘Vande Mataram’ be recognised by the respondent as equal to ‘Jana Gana Mana’.We are of the view that we are unable to grant the relief sought in the petition,” the bench said.The court’s order came on a plea of Delhi resident Gautam R Morarka, who had urged the bench that directions be given to the Centre in this regard so that proper dignity and respect can be maintained when ‘Vande Mataram’ is played or sung.The Centre had opposed the plea saying ‘Vande Mataram’ occupies a “unique and special place” in the psyche of Indians but it cannot be treated at par with ‘Jana Gana Mana’, penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.Seeking dismissal of the PIL, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said the plea that ‘Vande Mataram’ be treated on par with ‘Jana Gana Mana’ cannot be accepted.The PIL had also sought a direction to amend the 1971 National Honour Act accordingly to ensure equal respect for ‘Vande Mataram’.The MHA had said that on the petitioner’s representation and subsequent PIL, it had set up a committee which had met on March 29, 2016 and recommended that status quo be maintained in this regard.The panel had expressed hope that every citizen would remember the historic role of ‘Vande Mataram’ in the freedom struggle and show due respect to it whenever it is played or sung, it had said.”It has become synonymous with valour, dedication and love for one’s motherland and does not require any crutches to hold it (the song) in the heads and hearts of India’s citizenry,” the MHA had said.Morarka in his plea had said even in 1950, the then President of India had said that ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be honoured equally with ‘Jana Gana Mana’.

Report on MMRC’s PR firm appointment sought

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The State’s Chief Secretary’s office has sought a report from the Urban Development Department headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor to appoint a private Public Relation (PR) agency without floating e-tenders for appointment despite the state and central government making it mandatory to follow e-tendering process for purchase of more than Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh to maintain transparency.DNA had reported on September 27, 2017, about MMRC appointing M/S Genesis Burson-Marsteller, a public relations agency, to handle media and communications for MMRC by calling quotations and not conducting e-tendering process for the appointment.However, MMRC had claimed that there was no breach of transparency in the appointment of the PR firm by paying Rs 71.04 lakh, that is Rs 5.92 lakh per month for a period from April 2017 to March 2018.Suraj Mandhare, Joint Secretary to Sumit Mullick, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, told DNA, “On the basis of the information received about MMRC appointing PR agency without e-tendering, I have forwarded the matter to the Urban Development Department, and I am expecting them to get details on the matter, and submit a report to this office.”Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary Urban Development Department, informed DNA, “I have sent all the details received from the Chief Secretary’s office to Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director of MMRC. I have asked her to find out the facts on the matter, and you shall contact her on the matter.”However, Bhide was not available for comments. A text message sent to Bhide and R Ramana, executive director (planning), MMRC who awarded the contract to private PR agency, remained unanswered till the time of going to the press.Responding to a query of DNA in September 2017, about why e-tendering was not conducted to appoint PR agency despite state government mandating to tender procurement above Rs 3 lakh to be e-tendered to maintain transparency, MMRC had contended that as it is jointly owned by the Government of India (GoI) and Government of Maharashtra (GoM), the procurement process followed is in conformity with GoI guidelines in respective fields.However, according to the norms of Expenditure Department of GOI, e-tendering should be done for every purchase that is above Rs 2 lakh.

2 more die of dengue, toll touches 3

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two more dengue deaths were reported from the national Capital on Monday, taking the toll to three, this season. The data was revealed in a report compiled by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). Delhi, so far, has reported 5,220 cases of dengue this season.Meena Devi, 49, from Karawal Nagar, died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) on September 2, and Rhoda Daimai, 26, from Manipur died at Holy Family Hospital on August 27, but according to the sources, it took two months for the MCD to confirm these deaths in their weekly report.The mosquito-borne disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at SGRH on August 1. Daimai had come from Manipur to Delhi for her treatment.Of the total 5,220 dengue cases, 2,564 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 2,564 Delhi cases, 757 were reported this month, and 412 in the last one week. Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end. This year, however, it has been much earlier due to the early arrival of monsoon.In another suspected dengue death case, family members of a 30-year-old man protested outside the BLK Super Specialty Hospital in Rajendra Place, alleging that they had admitted Ashwini on October 3, after he had not been keeping well. The hospital did not tend to the patient and he died on October 7 due to multiple organ failure. The family members said that the earlier tests did not show any organ issue.The hospital, however, has declined the allegations. “The patient was brought in a critical condition with only 2,000 platelets. He had multi-injection punctures in the arm, which even suggested drug addiction. It is a multi-organ failure death due to suspected dengue. The family members are creating an issue due to high hospital bills,” said a senior doctor from the hospital.HOSPITAL CLAIMS:BLK hospital says patient who died was brought in a critical condition with only 2,000 platelets. He had multi-injection punctures in the arm, which even suggested drug addiction. It is a multi-organ failure death due to suspected dengue.

Uttarakhand: Former CM Harish Rawat expresses concerns over PM Modi laying foundation stone for Adi Shankaracharya’s samadhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat today expressed reservations over Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone for a project to renovate Adi Shankaracharya’s Samadhi in Kedarnath, saying it should be done by saints and seers.Modi is scheduled to visit Kedarnath on Friday, a day after Diwali, when he is likely to inaugurate a number of projects and also lay the foundation for the renovation of the Samadhi (tomb).The tomb was damaged in the 2013 flash floods.”We had our own plans for the project. We wanted the Shankaracharyas of the four ‘peeths’ to lay its foundation and inaugurate it. However, the BJP has decided to assign the work – which should have been done by saints and seers – to the prime minister,” Rawat told reporters here.”They have raised the prime minister’s stature to that of a ‘Dharmapurush’ by making him do the job of saints and seers,” he said.Meanwhile, Dwarka Shardapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati has written to Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti, saying the foundation stone for the project by Modi was welcome.But, he added, the renovation work should not be assigned to any other institution as it was the “first right” of the Shankaracharyas of the four ‘peeths’ founded by the Adi Guru.”There is nothing wrong with the prime minister laying the foundation of the project, rather it is worth welcoming.But carrying out renovation is our first right,” he wrote.”I had been urged by the temple committee during my visit to Badrinath in May this year to oversee the renovation work of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s Samadhi. I got a statue of the Adi Guru made in Jaipur and sent it to Kedarnath,” Swami Swaroopananda said in the letter.

From Adityanath to Sangeet Som: BJP’s complicated relationship with Taj Mahal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recently, BJP MLA Sangeet Som rekindled the party’s bizarre hate-hate relationship with the Taj Mahal, a monument whose Mughal history makes it an easy target.In comments that came soon after the Yogi Adityanath government reportedly left out the Taj Mahal from an official tourism booklet, Som said, “Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places (tourist destinations). What type of history? “Is this history that the person who built the Taj Mahal imprisoned his father? Do you call it history when the one who built the Taj targeted many Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Hindustan?”Addressing a gathering at Sisoli village after inaugurating a statue of 8th century king Anangpal Singh Tomar, Som said invaders of India have been glorified in history. Referring to ‘kalank katha’, or the black mark of history, he said, ” Whether it is Babar, Akbar or Aurangzeb, the government is working to erase them from history.” The lives and achievements of the “real great men” of the country like Maharana Pratap and Shivaji would be taught in schools and colleges, Som said.Som seems to have confused the identity of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built Taj Mahal with his son and tyrant Aurangzeb who held his father captive.Later asked to clarify, Sangeet Som stuck to his guns and said: “I don’t oppose Taj Mahal. It’s a beautiful heritage. I oppose Mughals who built it & how they’ve been portrayed in history.”This isn’t the first time a BJP lawmaker has targeted the Taj. In 2014, erstwhile BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai had claimed that the Taj Mahal was part of an ancient Shiva Temple after SP leader Azam Khan had asked for it to be handed over to the Waqf board. He had said: “Azam’s dream to offer namaz five times at Taj will never be fulfilled.”However, the claims about the Shiva temple continued and culture minister Dr Mahesh Sharma had clarified in parliament that on December 1, 2015 that the ‘government had not found any evidence which can suggest that Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple of Shiva’.Meanwhile, the Taj Mahal was back in the news on June 15, 2017 when UP CM Yogi Adityanath made a disparaging remark about the monument. He had indicated that somehow the Taj Mahal wasn’t part of India’s heritage. He had said: “The gifts given to them were Agra’s Taj Mahal or some minar that has no connection with India’s culture or heritage.”This is the first time this has happened that when India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi goes abroad, or any foreign president visits India, he is gifted the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita or Ramayan.”Meanwhile, UP’s tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, had said after the furore over the Taj missing from the UP tourism booklet that it was part of ‘our cultural heritage’. She had said: “ “Taj Mahal is our cultural heritage and occupies a place among the world’s famous tourist places,” the 68-year-old minister was quoted saying by PTI.In an official statement issued by the UP government, Joshi added, “Holistic development of the cultural heritage and that of infrastructural facilities is the priority of the state government.” With Som’s comments, we are again back with BJP’s unique relationship with Taj Mahal.Incidentally, the failed peace talks between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pak President Pervez Musharaf was held in Agra in 2001. Musharaf was kept in a hotel, which gave a regal view of the Taj, something he even mentioned in his autobiography. Unfortunately, the epitaph of love couldn’t salvage the peace talks which ended in a cropper. With inputs from PTI

Indian troops leave for first ever tri-services joint military exercise with Russia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 400 personnel of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy in addition to two IL 76 aircraft, one frigate and corvette each from the Navy today left the country to take part in INDRA 2017–the first ever Tri Services Joint Exercise between Indian and Russian Armed Forces which will be conducted in the Eastern Military District of Russia from October 19 to 29. Exercise INDRA in its previous nine avatars has been conducted as a single service exercise alternately between the two countries. The year 2017 marks a major milestone as this exercise has been upgraded to involve all the three Services of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Air Force), which further accentuates the importance of Joint Services in the present world environment.Exercise INDRA-2017 will be conducted at the 249th Combined Army Range Sergeevisky and in the Sea of Japan near Vladivostok. The Indian contingent will comprise of 350 personnel from Army, 80 from Air Force, two IL 76 aircraft and one Frigate and Corvette each from the Navy. The Russian Federation Armed Forces will be represented by approximately 1000 troops of the 5th Army, Marines and Ships of Pacific Fleet and aircraft from Eastern Military District.Addressing the Indian Contingent today, Lt Gen Satish Dua reminded them of the importance of the upcoming Exercise which will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in counter terrorism operations in a multinational scenario in a joint tri-service environment. The scope of the exercise includes professional interactions, establishment of joint command and control structures between the Indian & Russian forces and elimination of terrorist threat in a multinational environment under the UN mandate.Exercise INDRA-2017 is aimed at strengthening mutual confidence, inter-operability and enable sharing of best practices between both the armed forces. It will be a landmark event in the history of Indo-Russian defence cooperation and is expected to give the Indo-Russian defence cooperation a major boost.

NSA Doval visits Kabul, discusses strategic issues with top leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Afghanistan today pledged to further strengthen strategic cooperation as National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and the top brass of the country’s military establishment in Kabul.”It was agreed to further strengthen strategic dialogue and consultations for achieving shared objectives,” an official statement here said.Though there was no elaboration of the shared objectives, both sides were believed to have deliberated on challenges of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, ways to deepen bilateral defence and security ties and the fragile reconciliation process in the war-ravaged country.Doval, who is visiting Afghanistan, held wide-ranging talks with his counterpart Hanif Atmar during which both sides exchanged views on various facets of the bilateral strategic partnership and regional and global issues of mutual interest.”They emphasised that bilateral and sincere regional cooperation is important for peace, security and stability in the region. Both sides welcomed the opportunities created by the new US strategy for bringing peace and security in Afghanistan,” the statement added.Atmar hosted a working lunch for Doval where the Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior, Chief of Army Staff and senior officials of the National Security Council were also present.Doval extended an invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to President Ghani to visit India and the invitation was accepted, the statement said.Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had visited India last month during which combating terrorism was one of the major focus areas of the talks he had with Indian leaders as both sides emphasised the need to dismantle terror safe havens in the region.Defence and security ties between India and Afghanistan have been on an upswing.India has given four military helicopters to Afghanistan which has been trying to strengthen its air power following a significant cut in NATO forces there. The last of the four Mi 24 attack choppers was given in November last year.Afghanistan has also been seeking India’s assistance in making functional Soviet-era helicopters and transport aircraft which were not in a flying condition.Last month, India had announced taking up 116 new developmental projects in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, weeks after US President Donald Trump sought New Delhi’s help in the economic development of that country.India has been playing a key role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and given it assistance worth USD 2 billion in the last few years.

Mamata Banerjee alleges senior BJP leader of instigating violence in Darjeeling, protests troop withdrawal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday levelled serious allegations against senior BJP leaders Centre’s decision to withdraw forces from Darjeeling hills.“The Centre has, without discussing with the state, pulled out all the force from the hills. Taking such a unilateral decision is unfortunate on the part of the Central government. It is a politically and administratively bad decision. It is an undemocratic and unethical decision taken at a time when we are trying to restore peace there and recent recovery of arms and ammunition proves the involvement of Northeast insurgent groups in the violence that had taken place,” she lashed out at the Centre during a press conference at Nabanna, the state secretariat, after meeting representatives of political parties from the hills.She said she had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and hoped something positive would come from there.She alleged that the BJP was trying to engineer an unrest at the hills and create a political divide so that they can win one seat from there. Without naming BJP MP and Union minister of state for drinking water and sanitation, SS Ahluwalia, she said, “I have specific information that a BJP leader and minister is directly involved in instigating violence at the hills in order to retain the party’s victory from the Lok Sabha seat there. We have evidences which, when time comes we might make public.”Taking a potshot at Union Home Minister, she said that the Centre was meeting some people from Darjeeling who had been charged with UAPA and taking their words for granted as the actual situation at the hills and that they were not talking to people who believe in democratic values. “We will try to maintain law and order at the hills but if there is any fresh case of violence, the Centre will have to take responsibility for that. I am sorry to say that it looks like the Central government is being run from the BJP party office,” she said and referring to the recent visit of state BJP president Dilip Ghosh at Darjeeling added that it was based on the reports of his visit that forces were withdrawn.Ghosh however, later said that deploying and removing of Central forces was a prerogative of the Centre. “She had instigated and fuelled violence at the hills and why does she need the Centre to save her skin?” he said. Mamata also said that the next meeting between the state government and hill parties would take place at Pintail Village in Darjeeling on November 21.Representatives of all parties at the hills other than Dr Harka Bahadur Chhetri’s Jan Andolan Party (JAP) were present at the meeting on Monday. Talking to mediapersons, Chhetri expressed his dissatisfaction towards the state government for his reason being absent from the meeting. “Our stand is clear and just as it had been in the last two meetings. There should be a tripartite talk among the Centre, the state and the parties at the hills. Also the GJM leaders about three months ago had burnt the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) accord, so it should be revoked as it can prove to be an impediment in the formation of a separate state. Moreover only one party of Binay Tamang is consulted in the name of an all-party meeting,” Chhetri said.

Akhilesh keeps father Mulayam and uncle Shivpal out of SP national executive

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The newly re-elected Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav on Monday slammed the door on his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav keeping him out of the 55-member National Executive Committee despite his father proposing Shivpal be made national general secretary.Akhilesh did not even give his father Mulayam Singh Yadav a place in the newly-formed national executive. His and Shivpal’s names are not there in the list of six special invitees. Thus, Mulayam would continue to be Patron of the party without any post. After re-electing Akhilesh as national president during its meeting on October 5 at Agra, the party had authorised him to constitute the national executive.Kiranmoy Nanda has been made party National Vice-President while Prof Ram Gopal Yadav’s stature has been increased. He will be National Chief General Secretary. All Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav loyal party leaders have been given a place in the new executive.Mohd Azam Khan, Naresh Agarwal, Ravi Prakash Varma, Surendra Nagar, Balram Yadav, Vishmbhar Prasad Nishad, Awdhesh Prasad, Ramji Lal Suman and BSP turn-coat who recently joined Samajwadi Party – Inderjeet Singh Saroj – have been made national General Secretaries.Significantly, Sanjay Seth, a prominent builder and Samajwadi Party Rajy Sabha members has been made the treasurer of the national executive. Besides, Akhilesh has also announced names of 14 Secretaries and 29 members and six special invitees.With Akhilesh rejecting Mulayam’s formula for Shivpal’s honourable comeback, fate of the rebel uncle is almost sealed. Shivpal now has no choice than to stay away from Samajwadi Party and explore other options.

Delhi Court seeks info on plea against Digvijaya Singh for ‘abusive’ tweet about PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court on Monday sought clarifications on whether an offence of defamation was made out against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for allegedly tweeting defamatory contents against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his followers.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan, who heard part arguments on the complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Singh, sought clarification from the complainant on the offence of defamation under the IPC.The court posted the matter for further hearing on November 29.During the hearing, complainant advocate Gaurav Gulati argued that Singh had allegedy posted a derogatory picture on Twitter on September 8 and captioned it with abusive words against the Prime Minister.He alleged that the picture was orginally posted by a journalist and was re-tweeted by the Congress General Secretary who had committed an “outrageous and shameful act”.He sought lodging of an FIR against Singh for offences under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (promoting enmity against different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, language), 469 (forgery to harm reputation), 500 (defamation) and 504 (insulting with intent to provoke breach of peace) under the IPC

Lone samaritan out to save kid beggars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi-based engineer Ashish Sharma gave up his plum job and turned into a crusader on a mission to end child begging. He took it upon himself to undertake rehabilitation of a nine-year-old boy along with eight more such kids who was drugged to beg.The incident took place two years back. It was a watershed moment that motivated him to start a project named Unmukt India, in which he is walking 17,000 kilometres across the country to request the police and public administration to rehabilitate such children.Like many other city-based NGOs working on child labour, he too believes in not taking pity on child beggars as it would help reduce or remove the exploitation of the young and innocent. “The money given to the beggars is all used by the Mafia gangs. There are small organisations and nexus who professionally train these children on how to beg. If they are hungry, Punjab has so many Gurudwaras, so ideally there should have be beggars in Punjab,” Sharma said. He is in the city as a part of Unmukt India project.According to statistics collected by Abhyudaya Foundation, a city-based NGO working on child labour, Jaipur currently has 12,800 child beggars who need to be rehabilitated.Manan Chaturvedi, chairperson, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR), added that there is a need to catch those who are giving alms as well as those who are taking it, in order to removing child begging from the country.“We think ourselves to be great by giving money to the beggars as we link it to the religion. There is a need to counsel both the parties. When nobody will give anything to these children, from whom will the uninformed parents and mafia take,” Manan said.Sumit Chaturvedi, founder, Abhyudaya Foundation, informed that he tried speaking to child beggars in Jaipur but was dismissed by a couple of men.“They told me I am not allowed to talk anything nonsense with these children. They asked me to go away,” Chaturvedi said.He then went to Jaipur Police Commissioner, Sanjay Agarwal, with a project of rehabilitation of the child beggars but was asked to make a call on 100. Traffic police also needs to co-operate as child helplines cannot do everything, explained Bhupendra Kaur, team member, 1098 child helpline.REHAB CENTRES ON THE ANVILDepartment of Social Justice and empowerment of Rajasthan has decided to open rehabilitation centres in Jaipur and Rajsamand for children below 18 years who have been begging for survival. Various NGOs have been invited to take the initiative to manage the centres.The department had also introduced Rajasthan Rehabilitation of Beggars or Indigent Act in 2012.lying along the roadsides. ​EKLA CHOLO RE: Ashish Sharma, who is on a mission to make India beggar-free, poses at DNA office.

PM in city for mega rally today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming back to his home state on Monday for another rally. But, unlike his earlier outings, this one is going to be a game-changer, both for its scale — more than seven lakh BJP workers are expected to attend — and for the timing — his speech should do the job of a morale booster for party workers who will be tackling the anti-incumbency factor in the poll-bound state.The PM will be addressing party workers in Bhat village near Ahmedabad. Political observers feel every word that will come from the PM will ignite the passion in lakhs of party workers. It’s not the anti-incumbency sentiments, the party also has to find ways to bounce back in the face of widespread social media campaigns against it.But party workers have faith in their leader. Calling him a role model, BJP Yuva Morcha vice-president in Ahmedabad, Poras Patel, said, “Modi means Gujarat for us. He is the synonym for development, and he is our pride. He has been always a source of inspiration for us and his speech tomorrow (Monday) is going to energise us. His speech will silence the anti-BJP voices that have been hogging social media platforms.”Another BJP worker Rajesh Desai said, “Modi’s words are like Gita for us. If we follow his directions, we will win more than 150 seats. We will take his development agenda to every household in Gujarat and will convince every voter that only BJP is can think of their development.”Among the seven lakh party workers who will attend the rally, the significant presence will be of page pramukhs, who are in charge of voters listed on a single page of voters list. Page pramukhs are the mascots of the BJP and part of its micro plans for poll campaigns. It is said that the concept was introduced by Modi himself during the Assembly elections in 2012.BJP spokesperson Harshad Patel said, “A rally of this scale, where a party leader will address workers in such large numbers, will be the first in country’s history.””It will be a record of sorts. BJP is a cadre-based party and workers are its backbone. They look up to Modi for inspiration and he knows it well. That is why we believe this rally is going to be a game-changer in the current political trend in state,” Patel noted.”Earlier, Amitbhai (Amit Shah, party’s national president) addressed workers in three different regions of the state. The PM’s address will focus on development programmes anchored by both central and state governments. Since he himself started as a party worker, he understands how workers can be inspired and what miracles they are capable of if guided properly. We have high hopes from this rally,” Patel added.VADODARA VISITPM Modi’s visit on October 23 to Bhavnagar for the inauguration of RoRo Ferry service may be cancelled and instead he may visit Vadodara on October 22 to inaugurate several public projects there, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said on Sunday. However, he did not confirm whether the PM would visit Bhavnagar the next day

Himachal Elections 2017: Minister Anil Sharma joins BJP, CM Virbhadra Singh plays down development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls, Himachal Pradesh Rural Development minister Anil Sharma today quit the Virbhadra Singh government and joined the BJP.”I have quit the Himachal cabinet and joined the BJP today,” Sharma, son of former Union communications minister Sukh Ram, said. He added that the BJP had given him the party ticket from Mandi. “The party (BJP) has informed me about this,” he said. Himachal Pradesh is slated to go to polls on November 9 and the development is seen as a jolt to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who was declared the Congress’s poll face last week.Sharma alleged that he and his father were sidelined and being ignored in the Congress. He alleged that an AICC General Secretary had invited Sukh Ram to attend Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Mandi but on reaching the spot, he was asked not to attend the event. Is Sukh Ram not a member of the Congress? Sharma asked. “I was not included in any of the committees for the Assembly polls and when I asked about this from the HPCC president, he said that my name was deleted at the higher level, which hurt me and I decided to quit,” he said.Himachal Chief Minister Singh, however, downplayed Sharma’s resignation. “I had prior information about his quitting the party to join the BJP. But it would not impact the poll prospects of the Congress. If some other ministers also want to quit, they are free to do so,” the chief minister said. The Mandi seat was represented by Sukh Ram from 1962 till November 1984, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha and his prot g D D Thakur won the seat in 1985.In the 1993 Assembly poll, his son Anil Sharma won from Mandi but after Sukh Ram’s name surfaced in the Telecom scam, he was expelled from the Congress and formed Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) which entered into a post-poll alliance with BJP and joined the government. While Sukh Ram won from Mandi, Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998.In the 2003 Assembly polls, Sukh Ram was the sole HVC member who win a seat, again winning from Mandi. He joined the Congress ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Sharma won from Mandi in 2007 and 2012 as a Congress candidate and is set to contest as a BJP candidate this time.

Odisha: BJD MP criticised by party for praising union minister Dharmendra Pradhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A BJD MP’s praise for Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday triggered a political row and evoked sharp criticism from his party leaders, while BJP said there is truth in his remarks.As leaders of ruling BJD took strong exception to the remarks of Pinaki Mishra, Lok Sabha MP from Puri, party MLA Debashish Samantaray took a dig at Mishra for praising Pradhan terming his statement as “anti-party”.Samantaray said the performance of Oil Minister Pradhan can be assessed very well from the frequent hike in oil prices. Mishra also knows the manner in which Pradhan is working, he said.Speaking at a function yesterday, Mishra had said: “Dharmendra Babu s worst critics will also concede that he is exceptionally hard-working and very competent.” Considering the country s economic condition and steep rise in oil prices, false praise about the Union minister is not justified, said Samantray.Another senior BJD leader and state Minister Damodar Rout was sarcastic about Pinaki Mishra and said the party MP may be fond of Pradhan.BJP, on the other hand, took a jibe at BJD leaders accusing them of being unable to digest the “truth”. BJP’s state unit vice-president Samir Mohanty claimed that Pinaki had spoken the truth.”Accepting truth requires adequate strength. Inability to accept truth has shown inherent weakness in BJD leaders,” claimed Mohanty.

BJP doesn’t do politics in matters of national interest, will sanction Rs 60,000 crore for Kerala: Nitin Gadkari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said he would sanction a grant of Rs 60,000 crore for Kerala.Gadkari, who was addressing the Jan Raksha Yatra here, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not indulge in politics in matters conceding national interest and promoted the idea of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.”Our party does not indulge in politics in matters conceding national interest. Tomorrow, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be meeting me at 11a.m. I have announced a sum of Rs. 60,000 crore for Kerala. Whatever CPM, Congress and other opposition leaders have asked me to do, I have done it. The BJP believes in democracy. We were perceived as communal, but this is something that we are against. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ is our motto, and going forward, we would like to promote the same. We are sure the BJP will flourish in Kerala as well, like the rest of the country,” Gadkari said. Gadkari also hit out at the Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI(M) and said their governance would soon end in the state. “I can foresee the fall of the CPI(M). Their traces will be removed in entirety, and their defeat is assured in the upcoming elections. Mark my words, even the people of Kerala are rejecting their governance,” he said.The union minister also accused the CPI(M) of being ‘promoters of violence’ and urged the people of the state to dethrone the present government. “In the case of China, Russia, and Hungary, communism and its ideologies have been rejected. Here too, the situation will be the same. In West Bengal, their leadership is being rejected; in Tripura, they are just present for namesake. The CPM is a promoter of violence, and resort to the same when opposed. This is why 120 of our workers were killed, and those who need to be taking care of law and order are supporting it. This is unfortunate for democracy, and the people of Kerala should oppose this government,” the union minister said.On countering terrorism, Gadkari stated that Pakistan, after being defeated three times by India, began exporting terrorism, due to which innocent people were being killed. However, due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan, Gadkari said, was isolated by the global economy.

PM Modi leads from the front: Nitish Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he “leads from the front” and takes responsibility for success and failure alike.”The most important thing in running a government is to provide leadership. It is very important to lead from the front for any leader who is running a government. Narendra Modi is such a leader,” he said. “As a former MP, I have seen many PMs who hesitated in leading from the front. During the Congress regimes in the country it was also seen that some people got credit for achievements which were never theirs while others received brickbats for failures which they could not be blamed for.Things are different under Modi,” the JD(U) chief said. Kumar made these comments at the release a book ‘Sava Arab Bharatiyon Ka Sapna’ authored by senior Gujarat-based journalist Uday Mahurkar.The Bihar chief minister lauded the prime minister for having taken “courageous” decisions like demonetisation, GST and surgical strikes, which were criticised by opposition parties. Kumar said he always supported these measures, which were tough but necessary for the welfare of people.Defending his decision to quit the 3-party Grand Alliance, Kumar said, “There can be no compromise with corruption. The decision was taken keeping the interest of Bihar in mind”. Kumar’s JD(U) had quit the “Mahagathbandhan” – comprising the Congress and Lalu Prasad’s RJD in July this year. He quit the alliance and joined hands with the BJP after the RJD rejected his suggestion that Prasad’s son and the then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav give an explanation in public over corruption cases lodged by the CBI against the father-son duo in the hotels for land scam.After Kumar resigned as the chief minister, the BJP immediately offered support for forming a new government which he accepted. Speaking at the same function, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi praised both the prime minister and Kumar, saying “I see very little difference in their style of functioning. Our chief minister has rich experience in governance and he has taken many praiseworthy decisions”.BJP national secretary general Anil Jain lamented that the Modi government was coming under attack through various campaigns like “Vikas pagal ho gaya hai (development has gone mad)” on social media which was recently used by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to target the prime minister. Nitish, while delivering his speech, told Jain, “Have courage. Do not get perturbed by such campaigns. Those who act courageously always succeed”.

Kerala CM creating atmosphere of fear says BJP leader Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Manohar Parrikar on Sunday regretted that while the BJP government at the centre was trying to take the nation on the development path, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was ‘creating an atmosphere of fear.'”While BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to take the nation on the path of development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is creating an atmosphere of fear,” he said.Participating in the ongoing ‘Jana Raksha Yatra’ to expose the alleged ‘red terror and jihadi’ under the CPI(M) led LDF rule in the state, he said all people inKerala should unite to remove the ‘tainted’ image of the state, due to attacks on BJP and RSS workers, allegedly by Marxist party workers.”Well cultured people of the state should denounce the political violence of the CPI(M)”, he said adding all should become torch bearers of change.’He said India was in the path of change and people across the world acknowledge this fact.BJP Mahila Mocha All India President Vijaya Rahatkar was among those joined the two-week long padyatra, led by party state president Kummanom Rajasekharan.

Maharashtra: Ahmednagar constable suspended for criticising PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police constable was suspended for allegedly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a WhatsApp post, police said today.Ramesh Shinde is posted as a bodyguard of Congress MLA and former minister Balasaheb Thorat, they said.Shinde, allegedly criticised Modi in a WhatsApp post recently, police said.The matter was taken seriously and an inquiry has been ordered, they said.”The action was taken against Shinde yesterday after a detailed inquiry by the district police’s cyber cell,” Ranjankumar Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar, told

From PM Modi to President Kovind, India pays tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in remembering the ‘Missile Man’ of India, A P J Abdul Kalam, on his 86th birth anniversary.In his home state Tamil Nadu, the birth anniversary of the former president was marked by planting of trees and floral tributes.At Kalam’s memorial in Peikarambu near his home town Rameswaram, his family members and people from various walks of life, including students, paid floral tributes.Kovind described the Missile Man as one of the greatest visionaries who ignited young minds, while Modi praised Kalam saying his personality inspired millions.Speaking with a group of children who arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Rameswaram by the bus ‘Dr Kalam Sandesh Vahini Vision 2020’, Kovind said he saluted Kalam and his monumental achievements as a scientist, a scholar and as the president of India.”One of the best ways of building the character of the youth of any country is to inspire them to read biographies of great personalities,” he said.The president said Kalam was one of India’s greatest visionaries and is fondly remembered as ‘Missile Man of India’ and ‘People’s President’.The Kalam Sandesh Vahini bus presents the life story of the former president in a very interesting manner, he said.Earlier, Kovind paid floral tributes at the portrait of Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Modi in a tweet said, “Remembering our beloved former president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary. His endearing personality inspires millions”.The prime minister shared a short video containing glimpses from the life of Kalam and his own (Modi’s) earlier speech praising the late scientist.In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the state in remembering Kalam.Purohit paid floral tributes to a statue of Kalam at the Raj Bhavan here, an official release said.At Peikarumbu, students, government representatives and public thronged his memorial to pay their respects.The memorial, construction work on which began on his last birth anniversary, was inaugurated by the prime minister in July this year.Family members of Kalam, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister M Manikandan, Ramanathapuram District Collector S Natarajan and others paid their tributes at the memorial.Students of the Mandapam Panchayat Union Primary School, where Kalam had studied, remembered him and took a oath to uphold his ideals.In Chennai, at a function held at the Adyar Cancer Institute, its chairperson and Padma Vibhushan awardee V Shanta planted a sapling to mark Kalam’s birth anniversary.”We cannot have a more inspiring leader than what we have had (in the past),” she said.Film actor Vivekh, an ardent supporter of Kalam, took part in various functions where saplings were planted across the city on the occasion.Kalam was born on October 15, 1931. He was a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007. Kalam died on July 27, 2015.

DNA Evening Reads: Rahul trolls PM; Gurdaspur bye-poll results; Somalia blasts and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress’ Sunil Jakhar wins Gurdaspur LS bypollRuling Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar on Sunday won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll by a huge margin of 1,93,219 votes over his nearest rival BJP contestant Swaran Salaria. “With this victory, people have reaffirmed faith in the leadership of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and at the same time,” said elated Jakhar. Click here to know moreRahul Gandhi trolls PM Modi after Donald Trump praises Pak in tweetsOn Sunday, US President Donald Trump, who is famous for taking U-Turns, tweeted that his country’s relationship with Pakistan was improving and that the US was happy with Pakistan’s co-operation. The tweet was picked up by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who sarcastically asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go and hug the US President. Click here to know moreSomalia: At least 189 killed in twin blasts in capital MogadishuThe death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital rose to 189 with over 200 injured, according to Associated Press, making it one of the deadliest attacks since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007. Although a Reuters report said that the toll was still 85. Click here to know more.China has started to understand that India is no more weak: Rajnath SinghUnion Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the country’s borders were “completely safe” and China has also understood that “India is no more weak”. Click here to know moreAustralian cricket team bus attack: Assam police arrests four for stone peltingIndia faced a major embarrassment earlier this week when the Australian cricket team’s bus was attacked in Guwahati during the recently-concluded T20 series. Click here to know more

This Diwali its Potter mania

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision of picking the right form of decoration will get difficult for Pink City buyers this festive season. Earthen lamps or Diya makers have decided to give their best after prime minister Narendra Modi made an appeal to use diyas made by local potters.Various kinds and shapes of diya can be seen around the city, including wax diya, tree-shaped diya, tortoise-shaped diya, painted diya, and many more. These are in addition to the modification to normal diyas like Panchmukhi Diya and Naumukhi Diya.“The sales are much more better this year as compared to last year. We have already sold 50 per cent of out stock a week before the festival. The sales have also increased by 25 per cent. However, things get difficult when officers from Jaipur Development Authority do not let us display our goods on the side of the road,” said Kailash Kumawat, Chaura Rasta-based diya seller.However, sellers like Kumawat import different kind of diyas from places like Bhopal and Gujarat. This level of competition has become tough to beat for local sellers. They, therefore, have reduced the prices by 10 per cent to sell their goods.“We make goods based on the sales made last year. The response has been decent this year. Our sale price ranges around Rs 60 for 100 diya for normal diya and Rs 7 to Rs 8 for painted diya,” said Kusum Bai, a Badi Chaupar-based seller.The prices at bigger sellers range at Rs 10 for painted diya and Rs 70-80 for 100 normal diya.

Two days on, Arvind Kejriwal’s stolen car found abandoned in Ghaziabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s car was allegedly stolen from outside the Delhi Secretariat, the vehicle was found abandoned in Ghaziabad on Saturday morning. No arrests have been made, so far.The car, a blue WagonR, was found in a service lane near the Narendra Mohan Hospital by some locals, who then informed the Ghaziabad Police. Their Delhi counterparts were contacted around 8 am.”The car was verified and brought to the IP Estate police station. Prima facie, it seems somebody took it for a joy ride and then abandoned it. However, we have not ruled out the involvement of an organised gang behind the theft,” said Madhur Verma, PRO, Delhi Police.The car had gone missing on Thursday. The next day, Kejriwal sent a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, stating that the common man did not feel safe in the Capital. “My WagonR was stolen from outside the Central Secretariat,” he wrote.”My car getting stolen is a small thing. But a CM’s car getting stolen right in front of the Central Secretariat points towards the state of law and order in the Capital. In the light of the recent incident, what value does the life of a common man really hold?” the CM added.He further stated: “If you ask any commoner in Delhi about the security and safety situation, you will get a negative response. I know that upon receiving my letter, the Delhi Police will respond with facts and figures that would help their so-called case but the truth is evident for all of us to see.”Meanwhile, the police are checking CCTV footage from nearby areas to identify the miscreants. In the last two days, the Delhi Police had formed many teams to track the car. These teams had been raiding car dealers, deserted parking lots, and scrap dealers in NCR.Verma said the car did not have any security features installed and it was parked at a spot that was not being manned by guards. “The AAP media cell in-charge, who had been using the vehicle, had parked it around 1 pm on Thursday. The matter was reported to the Delhi Police at 3pm. We have many clues, including CCTV footage, which show that the car was taken towards western UP. Many places in Mathura, Meerut, Ghaziabad, and Noida were raided. Gangs of auto-lifters were also scanned,” he said.The officer further advised people to install GPS in their vehicles to make it easier for the police to recover stolen vehicles in the Capital. He said putting a brake on the auto theft menace is one of the priorities of the Delhi Police and all possible efforts in this regard are being made.

Amit Shah tells BJP morchas to pull up their socks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah has asked all seven Morchas to roll up their sleeves for some serious work in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections.To start the process, the Kisan Morcha has been directed to prepare a force of 50,000 volunteers within the next four months. A diktat in this regard was given to the office bearers during the September 24 meeting, just a day ahead of the party’s extended national executive meet.The decision to begin with the Kisan Morcha was taken in light of the continuing farmer agitations and distress in the farming sector, which can potentially harm BJP’s prospects in 2019.The Kisan Morcha volunteers will spread awareness about several farmer-centric schemes, such as the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) to link 585 regulated agri-markets across the country, and various loan waiver schemes.Sources said Shah was unhappy that despite the extensive work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several pro-people schemes for farmers, youth, women, SCs, and STs, not much was visible on the ground because of the lack of drive to implement these schemes.”He (Shah) specifically told the office bearers, especially the Morcha heads, that they should understand that they have been given this responsibility not as a luxury but to do the work more efficiently. The impact of these schemes should be felt on ground, just like the Ujjwala Yojana,” sources said.Meanwhile, sources told DNA that a draft booklet is being prepared. This booklet will list all that the PM has done for the farmers, including the schemes launched, the funds sanctioned, and various other steps taken by state and Central governments to benefit the sector.”All 50,000 volunteers will be given extensive training to take this forward by establishing rapport with farmers across the country, help them reap benefits, and seek redressal at the level of Gram Sabhas, BDO, district, and state. In case of lags or glitches, the volunteers would be free to bring them to the notice of the Kisan Morcha top office-bearers, who would take them up personally at the respective levels,” the source said.Besides, an unofficial committee of experts is also being constituted to prepare a report about the Modi government’s achievements regarding the farmers. The report is expected to come out in four to five weeks. In all probability, it will be released by noted agricultural expert M S Swaminathan, whose recommendations are often cited by the Opposition as the benchmark, sources said.After Kisan Morcha, the next in line would be the Mahila Morcha and the Yuva Morcha, which would repeat the same drill of training volunteers and taking the message to the masses. “The idea is to use all the Morchas to spread the awareness about the work done by the Modi government and to ensure the implementation of various schemes through a participative approach,” sources said.

Kidnapped from Delhi, Jain guru Gani Ranjendra Vijay found in Ludhiana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jain leader, who was allegedly kidnapped by unidentified men here, was on Saturday found abandoned on the roadside in Ludhiana, police said.Jain Guru Gani Ranjendra Vijay alleged that he was kidnapped while on his way to his ashram in north Delhi’s Roop Nagar.He said that he was stopped by an acquaintance on the pretext of discussing an issue.The religious leader was then administered some sedative and kidnapped, a police officer said.A team of Delhi Police was already on the way to Ludhiana when they were informed by their counterparts there about the victim being found.The Jain leader told the police that he was thrashed by the kidnappers and had lost consciousness.When he gained consciousness, he found himself on the roadside and informed the police after borrowing a cell phone from a passer-by.The Ludhiana Police then took him to a hospital.Police said there were no visible injury marks on his body, adding that the guru is on his way to Delhi.

Nitish asks for central status for Patna University, PM Modi gives no hope; Lalu cries foul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the gathering, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said that “it is a day of great honour” that the prime minister is present for Patna University’s centenary celebrations. He also made a fervent plea to Modi “with folded hands that central status be granted to Patna University”.However, Modi, during his address, said that measures like grant of central status were “a thing of the past” and his government has taken “a step forward” towards making 10 private universities and 10 government one’s world class.”I would like to say something about a demand that was raised here and met with loud cheers by the young crowd attending this ceremony. Issues like grant of central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward.
ALSO READ Modi and Nitish fooling people by not giving central status to Patna University: Lalu Prasad Yadav “We will provide an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to 10 private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years. All these universities have to do is to demonstrate their potential to become world class,” he said, adding, “I exhort Patna University to seize this opportunity.”RJD president Lalu Prasad today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were fooling the people of Bihar by not according central status to the Patna University (PU).
ALSO READ Nitish Kumar takes a swipe at Congress after spotting state party chief at PM’s speech; Congress calls it a joke”Both of them (Modi as well as Kumar) are making fools of people of Bihar. They must have decided beforehand that one will propose and another would dispose it (proposal for central status to PU),” Prasad told reporters at Patna’s Jay Prakash Narayan Airport on his arrival from New Delhi.Prasad had served as president of PU students’ union that provided vital support to the anti-Congress Jay Prakash Narayan movement in 1974.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his “commitment” to Bihar’s development, as the two leaders shared the stage for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold.Modi, who attended the centenary celebrations of the Patna University (PU) here along with Kumar, said the Centre and the state government led by Kumar will work together with a pledge to bring Bihar on par with the other prosperous states by 2022.”Nitishji is committed to development of Bihar… and the central government has pledged to develop the country.Together the two will work together to ensure that Bihar is counted among the prosperous states by 2022 when the country celebrates 75 years of independence,” the prime minister said.Modi said that Bihar has been blessed by Saraswati, the Goddess of learning.”But the time has come to propitiate Laxmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) as well and take the state to new heights of development,” he said.Modi began his speech on a humorous note, saying “the chief minister said in his speech that I was the first Prime Minister to visit this university. It seems my predecessors have left quite a few tasks for me”.Earlier, the prime minister was welcomed by Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik and the chief minister among others at the Patna airport from where he drove straight to the Patna Science College campus.This is the prime minister’s first full-fledged official tour to the state since the BJP became a part of the ruling coalition in Bihar in July this year after Kumar-led JD(U) snapped its alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress.In August, Modi along with Kumar had made an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts of Bihar.The prime minister had promised a “package” of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in 2015 for the state during the campaign for the assembly elections in which the BJP and the JD(U) were pitted against each other.The two parties remained partners in Bihar for 17 years but the JD(U) severed ties in mid-2013 over elevation of Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

WION Exclusive: ‘I have right to head FTII, want to focus on getting things done,’ says Anupam Kher

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after his appointment as FTII chairman, Anupam Kher, the National Award winning actor and doyen of Bollywood spoke exclusively to WION on Saturday.In a candid interview, Kher spoke about his vision for India’s premiere film institute and the controversy surrounding his predecessor Gajendra Chahuhan.The Saaransh actor said that not only he is the right candidate for the job, but he also has time for his new role. “I don’t need to do a 9 to 5 job at the FTII. In fact, you can be in institute for 24 hours and do nothing. I will speak to the students and figure about the issues, which are important for the institute,” Kher said. “I’m a self-made man and I have the right to head FTII,” he added.On his vision for FTII, he said that he doesn’t want to have any pre-conceived notions before taking up the job. “Any institute will; have its set of challenges and I’m ready for it. I want to take FTII to a glorious future and I want only to be a guide and source of inspiration to the students,” he said.Talking about his predecessor Gajendra Chauhan, Kher said that he was the first person to speak about him.“I spoke about it (that Gajendra Chauhan was not the right candidate) but today I don’t want to go into details as he has relinquished the office. The position of chairman requires a certain world view and I felt strongly about it.”The Padma Bhushan awardee who also runs an acting institute by the name ‘Actor Prepares’ said, “I’m a teacher and want to focus on getting the things done. I’m an optimist and I only focus on positive. I will cross the bridge when it comes.”Kher who has acted in more than 500 films has a strong opinion about Indian cinema. He feels Indian cinema must reflect the modern India as the country is not about snake charmer.“We must move away from India’s cliche image. Our cinema is now limited to song and dance”.Speaking about filmmakers from small towns and films on small towns, Kher said, “Big cities have been consumed. There is some plasticity around it. Small towns today look real, earthy and believable and have brought freshness to the cinema. The characters from small town looks believable.”He also added that when he works abroad he makes sure that he doesn’t get cast himself in roles that stereotype India. The 62-year-old, best remembered for his stellar performances in ‘Daddy’, ‘Saraansh’, has held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama.

DNA Evening Reads | Gauri Lankesh’ killers identified; PM Modi in Bihar; Pulwama encounter and Burhan Wani and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Gauri Lankesh murder case: Two suspects identified, SIT releases sketchesThe police said that there are two suspects and sketches were similar because they were made by two artists based on different eyewitness accounts. Read more here2. PM Modi says Nitish Kumar committed to Bihar, praises Patna University studentsPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first time after the the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold. Read more here3. ‘A big success’: LeT commander Waseem Shah killed in Pulwama encounterTop Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning. Read more here4. Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but oneFor Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir. Read more here5. Who said BJP is anti-women? EAM Sushma Swaraj cites cabinet members to counter detractatorsExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday lashed out at BJP’s rivals’ claims that the party was anti-women. Read more here

Who said BJP is anti-women? EAM Sushma Swaraj cites cabinet members to counter detractators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday lashed out at BJP’s rivals’ claims that the party was anti-women.Addressing a rally in Ahmedabad ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat, Swaraj said, “Rivals call BJP anti-women party, but it gave the country four women chief ministers and four women governors. In addition, there are six cabinet ministers,” she said. Hailing the Narendra Modi-led central government for its ‘pro-woman’ stance, Swaraj added that prior to this government, which was formed in 2014, no woman was ever a part of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that comprises the home ministry, external affairs ministry, defence ministry and finance ministry. While Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley respectively head the home and finance ministry, Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman head the external affairs and defence ministry respectively. “I was made EAM in May 2014 and now Nirmala Ji is the Defence Minister. Two out of 4 CCS members are women now,” she added.While speaking of women’s safety, the external affairs minister also added that the BJP would soon launch a panic button yojna to ensure their safety.Swaraj’s comments come days after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS, the parent body of the BJP, of being anti-women. “”They are not interested in women’s rights. How many women are in the RSS? Have you ever seen women in shorts working with RSS? I have never seen. You see women in the Congress all the time. In the RSS you will never see women. God knows what mistakes women have committed that they cannot be a part of RSS,” Gandhi told a gathering of women.Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, Swaraj said that he had insulted women by making such a statement.

BJP’s former MLA’s brother Bhima Dula convicted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court reversed the trial court order in the 2004 double murder case of Adityana in the Porbandar district and convicted two key accused including Bhima Dulabhai Odedara, brother of BJP’s former MLA from Kutiyana constituency Karsan Odedara.The fourth division bench of Justice Anant S Dave and Justice RP Dholaria convicted held the two guilty for the murder of father and son, Ismail Hussain Mundra and Yusuf Ismail Mundra.On May 27, 2004, Bhima Dula’s workers were carrying out a digging work near the Ismail Hussain’s shop to lay down a water pipeline, when the latter had requested workers to not do it. In the quarrel that followed, Bhima Dula with Chagan Karavadara reached the spot and opened fire, killing Ismail on the spot. His son Yusuf suffered severe injuries and was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to bullet injuries.

AAP takes Metro fare hike protest to next level

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ongoing political drama over the Metro fare hike continued with the Aam Aadmi Party leaders staging a protest outside the Union Urban Development Ministry at Nirman Bhawan, on Friday. The Delhi Police detained party workers as well as senior leaders including Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam during the protest.The gheraoing of the ministry came close on the heels of the Metro Fare Satyagraha launched by the AAP on Wednesday. Party members and volunteers protested against the revised fares rolled out by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) on Tuesday, across different metro stations on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the ‘satyagraha’. The fares were increased despite vehement opposition by the Delhi city government, which also led to a tug of war between the city government and the Centre. This is for the second time in a year that the fares have been increased. The DMRC had increased fares in May earlier.Meanwhile, the ruling party of Delhi decided to take their protest outside the houses of seven MPs from the capital, all of whom are from the Bharatiya Janata Party. The AAP members have termed this the “second phase” of the Metro Fare Satyagraha.According to an AAP leader, they will launch the protest outside the house of Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday. In the following days, they plan to take their agitation to residences of other MPs including Maheish Girri, Udit Raj, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Verma, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.The Delhi Metro Commuters Association, a volunteer organisation also protested outside the Metro Bhawan on Barakhamba road here on Friday.

No benefits for state under BJP rule: Cong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Friday questioned the Gujarat model of development citing a recent Niti Aayog report.“These are not random figures. These are statistics of the Niti Aayog and show the poor Human Development Indices (HDI) of Gujarat, a state that is often touted as the model of development,” said former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.He said Gujarat ranks 22 in primary school enrollment, 23 in Infant Mortality Rates and 21 in child undernourishment.“Where is the development and who is benefitting from it?”asked Chavan.The Congress also said that the poor implementation of GST and the ill-conceived demonetisation had practically crippled the economy. “It has hit small businessmen the most,”said Chavan.The party also criticised the Election Commission’s decision not to announce the Assembly election dates for Gujarat.“The Election Commission is now being jokingly referred to as the Election Omission. It is obvious that the delay in announcement is being done to suit the ruling party,” said Chavan. He was addressing a press conference in the city on Friday.He said that this was the first time in the history of the EC that it was being accused of taking decisions to help a party in power. “The EC has become a pawn in the hands of the BJP,”said Chavan.It should be noted that when the EC failed to announce the dates for Gujarat, it was alleged that it was done to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was visiting Gujarat on October 16, to announce various new projects.It would not be so had the poll dates been announced as the model code of conduct would come into force.CONG JAB AT ECCongress also criticised the Election Commission’s decision not to announce the Assembly election dates for Gujarat.

PM Modi urges state governors to make a conscious effort towards national integration

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked governors to make conscious efforts towards national integration.Modi, speaking on the concluding day of the two-day conference of the governors and lieutenant governors, said there was no dearth of ideas, resources, and capabilities in the country.Asking the governors to facilitate better effectiveness of government initiatives, Modi stressed “on making conscious efforts towards national integration”.He also urged governors to involve themselves in initiatives such as ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (one India, great India) and ‘Run for Unity’, a statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhawan said.The conference, hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind, was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman among others.”Deliberations on both achievements and problems between states, will give a new dimension to cooperative federalism,” Kovind said during the concluding ceremony.”The president said that states and governors should share information about their successful programmes with their counterparts,” according to the statement.In his remarks, president Kovind said that governors can give direction to the younger generation and play an important role in shaping the future of the country by constantly engaging with students and teachers.”They can inspire universities in their states to develop as innovation centres. The role of the governors becomes even more important in ensuring education and development in tribal areas,” the president said.He said that during the course of the conference, useful experiences were shared about issues pertaining to cleanliness, the environment, conservation of energy and cutting down of wasteful expenditure.Kovind said many Raj Bhavans have been accorded the status of heritage buildings.He urged that special features such as ‘green building’ and ‘smart building’ be included while keeping the heritage status of Raj Bhavans intact.The president reiterated that India will emerge as a developed nation only when every state develops.He expressed confidence that governors and lt governors would continue to make important contributions in giving a new direction to development in their respective states.Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said that governors should act as catalysts and facilitators in the change process.”The ultimate aim is to serve common citizens and ensure that the benefits of development reach the people,” he said.Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the governors can act as a bridge between the Centre and the states.The governors can contribute towards strengthening confidence building measures so that peoples’ faith in the democratic system is maintained, he said.Earlier in the day, governors made brief remarks on special issues pertaining to their respective states and union territories.Presentations on the sessions on ‘Infrastructure for New India 2022’, ‘Public Services for New India 2022’ and ‘Higher Education in States and Skill Development’ — which had taken place on October 12, 2017 — were also made today.The conference of governors is a tradition almost as old as Independence. The first conference of governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949 which was presided over by C Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India.Since then, 48 such conferences have been organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Veteran historian Satish Chandra dies aged 95

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran historian Satish Chandra, author of NCERT textbooks from 1970s to early 2000s and former JNU professor, passed away on Friday. He was 95.Chandra was Professor of History at JNU. Along with S. Gopal, Bipan Chandra, and Romila Thapar, he founded the Centre for Historical Studies at the School of Social Sciences where he served as its chairperson for a few years.He has been described as of India’s leading scholars of the Moghul period and as one of India’s most influential historians. His book, Mediaeval India, has been widely used as a textbook in schools and colleges around the country.Through the 1970s, he was the vice chairman and chairman of the University Grants Commission of India.

Doklam effect: In major infrastructure push, India to build roads along China border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of Chinese infrastructure expansion near Doklam, the Indian government is learnt to have taken steps to boost the connectivity along in the border areas.In what can be called a Dokalm after-effect, the defence ministry has delegated more administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation for a speedy completion of the projects along the border with China. As part of major infrastructure push, four major passes have been identified in Uttarakhand to be developed by the end of 2020.The roads will connect Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla and Tsangchokla pass over the next three years, sources have told WION.In an Army commanders’ conference, it was decided that “infrastructure and capability development” would be the key focus over the next few years.Shakti Chaudhary, mayor of Gangtok had told WION earlier that roads are necessary so that the military can immediately access the border in times of crisis.The decision to boost infrastructure along the border with China comes at a time when there are reports that Beijing is aggressively building raods in Doklam and other strategic areas.China has resumed building a road on Doklam plateau, latest media reports say.The current road construction is taking place just 10 km from the last stand-off site between India and China.According to media reports, there are about 500 Chinese troops present at the site guarding the construction.India has yet not objected the construction as it is not southwards towards the militarily-sensitive Jampheri Ridge area like last time.The bulldozers and other material that were used last time have been shifted to the new site by China.All this comes almost two months after both India and China agreed to “expeditious disengagement” over Doklam.The diplomatic success came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit China for the BRICS summit.The stand-off started in mid-June when Chinese troops entered Bhutanese territory to build a road, sparking India’s intervention, citing agreements to maintain a status quo in the region. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.

Aarushi Talwar verdict, Himachal elections, Kanhaiya Kumar, FIFA Under-17 World Cup, India Vs Australia T20: DNA morning must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Who killed Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj? 9 years later, the mystery remains unsolvedNine years, three investigations by as many teams, two sets of suspects and different theories later, the mystery around the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case remains unsolved, and it’s back to square one. The case was probed by the UP police first and then by two separate teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). From day one, the case has seen many twists and turns. Soon after Aarushi’s murder, domestic help Hemraj Banjade was declared the prime suspect since he was found missing. The next day his blood-soaked body was found on the terrace of their flat.dnai.in/f6KEHimachal polls: Voting schedule announced, CM Virbhadra says no ‘Modi-wave’The ‘Modi wave’ is not working in Gujarat leave aside Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh claimed today even as he indicated that he may contest the upcoming state polls from the Theog constituency. The polls in the hill state will be held on November 9 and results declared on December 18, the Election Commission has announced. dnai.in/f6JvAfzal Guru event at JNU: Delhi High Court sets aside disciplinary action against Kanhaiya Kumar, othersHolding that the principles of natural justice were not followed while taking disciplinary action against 15 students of JNU, including former students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, the Delhi High court on Thursday set aside the order imposing various punishments on them in connection with an event held on February 9, 2016. The event was organised against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. dnai.in/f6KRFIFA Under-17 World Cup | India end campaign in agony, suffer 0-4 loss to GhanaRank outsiders India ended their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign in a cry of pain and agony as they were handed a 0-4 thrashing by two-time champions Ghana in their final group match in New Delhi on Thursday. The Indians played their hearts out in the final Group A game but that was not enough as formidable Ghana outplayed them in all departments. dnai.in/f6KpIndia v/s Australia, 3rd T20 Preview: Rain threat looms large as teams get ready for series decider in HyderabadIndia will look to complete another series win while Australia would be looking to end their tour on a high when the two sides meet in the third and final T20I match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium to be played on Friday. For the first time in this limited-overs tour, Australia are on an even footing with India, having bounced back to level the three-match T20I series at 1-1 after losing the ODI series 1-4. dnai.in/f6M4Watch video bulletin here:

‘Tell me phone, what’s destroying my crops?’

How apps using image recognition are helping farmers identify crop diseases.

Pessimists are going global: Rahul Gandhi mocks PM Modi

Updated: Oct 12, 2017, 10:42 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks dubbing the opposition as “pessimists” and said “pessimists are going global”.”These pessimists are going global. Why don’t they just go away?” he said on Twitter.Gandhi while taking on the prime minister posted a link of an article about World Bank downgrading India’s growth forecast, after the International Monetary Fund.Modi had compared critics of his government with a character in the Mahabharata, who used to demoralise Karna while engaged in the battle with Arjuna.Modi had also said that people who spread pessimism sleep well only after they spread that feeling all around and asked to recognise them.Gandhi had earlier said that instead of making excuses, Modi should speak up instead.

Himachal Elections 2017: Voting schedule announced, CM Virbhadra Singh says no ‘Modi-wave’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ‘Modi wave’ is not working in Gujarat leave aside Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh claimed today even as he indicated that he may contest the upcoming state polls from the Theog constituency.The polls in the hill state will be held on November 9 and results declared on December 18, the Election Commission has announced. “I will win comfortable from any constituency with a huge margin but sitting MLA from Theog, Vidya Stokes, and the Theog BCC (Block Congress Committee) have requested me to contest from Theog,” he said adding that he would make his decision known in two-three days. Virbhadra Singh said he also had offers to contest from many constituencies including Chopal and Arki.The chief minister has left his Shimla (Rural) seat for son Vikramaditya Singh, who has already applied for the Congress ticket. No sitting MLA would be unnecessarily axed and a list of candidates that has almost been finalised would be announced soon, the chief minister said. I am in the election mode for the past more than six months and am sure that the Congress would get absolute majority, he said. Asked about the presence of a ‘Modi wave’ in the state, chief minister said that when the “Modi wave is not working in Gujarat…How can it have any impact in Himachal when the people are annoyed over the imposition of GST and problems caused by demonetisation”.
ALSO READ Assembly Elections 2017: Voting in Himachal on Nov 9, Gujarat to vote before December 18Virbhadra Singh said that he would contest from a single constituency only and would campaign throughout the state.”I am already campaigning for past six months and sure that the Congress would repeat its performance in the state. The manifesto of Congress party is also ready and being given final touches,” he said. It would be development and welfare oriented and all sections of the society would be taken care of, he said. The chief minister dismissed allegations by the BJP that he was laying foundation stones without any budgetary provision and said that he would resign if it was found that even a single foundation stone had been laid without making provisions in the budget.

Diwali 2017: Noise limit of 90 decibel to continue in Bengal, activist to file plea in SC for NCR-style ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chairman of West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), Dr Kalyan Rudra referred to the Supreme Court order on banning fireworks in Delhi and said that a similar ruling would be better for Kolkata as well.“It has been a landmark order by the Supreme Court and looking at the pollution caused in Bengal – both noise and air pollution – in those two days of Diwali and Kali puja, I believe it would be very good if there was a similar ruling for Kolkata as well,” Dr Rudra said, talking to DNA on Thursday.He said that the PCB didn’t not have enough power to put a blanket ban fireworks and thus had to be content by setting a decibel limit on the sound of fireworks. “We have to work within the acts and rules and thus could only set a limit of 90 decibel on the sound limit. To put it that in action we had to win a legal battle,” he said and appealed to people to avoid bursting of fireworks because he felt that if the trend was not checked Kolkata too would be following Delhi where, till last Diwali, people had to buy masks along with fireworks. “The situation is fast going that way. Already we see many people buying masks ahead of Diwali. Particulate matter in air in Kolkata, during those two days is more than double the permissible limit. Even sitting inside an air-conditioned room would not help as it doesn’t purify the air. It only cools it,” Dr Rudra said.He urged people to avoid fireworks totally. For those who can’t, he requested them to stick to the decibel level and for the sake of neighbours and elderly, they should not burst crackers between 10 pm and 6 am. Environmentalist and green crusader Subhash Dutta said they were already in the process of filing a petition at the Supreme Court. Talking to DNA Dutta said that the petition would be in reference to Article 48A of the Indian Constitution which is regarding protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife. “We are a single country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and there cannot be a separate ruling for Delhi compared to the rest of the country. We will appeal for the ban to be implemented uniformly across the country. The petition is being readied but since October 13 is the last working day of the Apex Court, it will have to be placed at the division bench,” he said.

Governors need to coordinate with legislators for creation of New India: President Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Governors can provide a new dimension to the development of their states by communicating with legislators and deliberating on subjects related to public well-being, President Ram Nath Kovind said here today.Addressing a two-day conference of governors and lt governors of states and union territories, the president said their obligation to commit themselves to the welfare of the people was more pronounced in the “current paradigm of cooperative federalism”. In his opening address at the conference, attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kovind said governors should inspire and connect all relevant stakeholders in their respective states for the creation of a ‘New India’ that is free of corruption, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and unhygienic conditions.The assertion comes in the backdrop of Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Puducherry’s Kiran Bedi having differences of opinion in administrative matters with their chief ministers. “The president said that being an intrinsic part of the legislative system in their states, Governors can provide a new dimension to the development of their states by communicating with legislators, and inviting them to Raj Bhavan to deliberate on subjects related to public well- being,” a statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan quoted Kovind as saying. By participating in this meeting, governors and lt governors had got a good opportunity to discuss important issues and share experiences from their respective states, he said.He added that they play the role of a bridge between the Union government and states. “The obligation of governors to preserve and uphold the Constitution and commit themselves to the service and welfare of the people is even more pronounced in the current paradigm of cooperative federalism,” Kovind said. The conference is being attended by 27 governors and three lt governors of states and union territories. The administrators of the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu as well as of Lakshadweep are also participating as special invitees.The president said critical milestones and national goals have been set in the context of the completion of 75 years of independence in 2022. “In order to ensure ‘Team India’ advances in a single direction to achieve these national goals, governors should inspire and connect all relevant stakeholders in their respective states.” he said. The president said it was essential to link youth with the process of nation building.”The future of the country depends on the capacities, moral values and compassion of the younger generation. Special attention needs to be paid to higher education and skill development at the level of states,” Kovind said.He also stressed the need for trusting citizens more and gave the examples of self-attestation of documents by individuals and the easier mechanism for obtaining a passport. Kovind urged the replication of these ideas at the level of states, since much of a citizen’s interaction with government agencies is at the level of states.By establishing communication channels with university chancellors and vice-chancellors, academicians, social workers and other thoughtful and enlightened citizens in the states, governors could help raise the quality of discussion and debate and provide an impetus to society and the state government, he said. Kovind also expressed the hope that the conference could help the Union government and states work together in the interests of all citizens, especially young people. The dream of a developed India will be realised, he said, only when every state develops.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti order probe after Kashmir separatist leader Asiya Andrabi features on Beti Bachao poster

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ordered probe after the jailed separatist leader Asiya Andrabi seen on on ‘Beti Bachao’ poster in the state.The poster aimed at highlighting the women achievers of the country was hoisted at a function held to promote girl education in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area on Wednesday.The child care wing of the Social Justice department used all the photographs in the Beti Bachao campign for the poster. The wing is headed by Sajad Lone, a BJP nominee in the PDP-BJP ruling alliance.Andrabi, the pro-Pakistan chief of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (daughters of the nation) organisation, also shared space with Mother Teresa, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, tennis star Sania Mirza and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi among others. Andrabi is at present in jail under Public Safety Act for her separatist activities.She has several cases registered against her including some for hoisting Pakistani flag on August 14 and March 23 — the Independence Day and National Day of Pakistan, respectively.’Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (save girl, educate girl) is one of the prominent campaigns of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PMIC to meet,take up MIAL’s bid for Navi Mumbai airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to give a much needed push for the development of Rs 16,000 crore Navi Mumbai international airport, the project monitoring and implementation committee (PMIC) headed by the state chief secretary Sumit Malik will meet on October 18 to give its nod for the financial bid received from GVK-led Mumbai International Airport (MIAL). PMIC’s approval is necessary to recommend the MIAL’s bid to the state cabinet for its final nod. Thereafter, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), which is the nodal agency for the airport development, will issue a letter of intent (LoI) to MIAL.The MIAL, who had outsmart its rival GMR, had submitted its bid in February offering 12.6% in revenue share. The project will be carried out on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. CIDCO will incur pre-development work costs. Award of the LoI is considered as an important step in taking the project forward, which is dogged by inordinate delays since its conception in 1997.CIDCO vice chairman and managing director Bhushan Gagrani told DNA,’’CIDCO has received stage II forest clearance in May. The pre-development work has already begun. PMIC will meet on October 18 and after its recommendation the state cabinet will give its approval for MIAL’s bid. Later, LoI will be issued.’’A fortnight ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the work for the first phase will commence by December 2019, and added that his government would issue a LoI as awarding the contract is a “matter of time” now. He also said the pre-developmental works for the ambitious project will be completed by May next year.However, a CAPA Global Strategy Report for July-August 2017 stated that the airport is unlikely to commence operations before March 2024, as significant earthworks need to be performed at the site, located in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai. WORK IN PROGRESSThe MIAL, who had outsmart its rival GMR, had submitted its bid in February offering 12.6% in revenue share A fortnight ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the work for the first phase will commence by December 2019.

In a first, WR seeks help from outside

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Worried about meeting the stringent deadline for constructing 10 new foot over bridges (FOBs) and rebuilding 14 FOBs, the Western Railway, for the first time, has sought external help. The department scheduled a brainstorming session for October 17.Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has given the railways 12-18 months for completing work on FOBs. Apart from calling in tenders and inviting consultants and builders for the work, the WR officials have said they will have to engage latest technologies to finish the project in such short notice.”As per plans, these consultants will give ideas on how to go about constructing new FOBs at available space and methods to demolish and rebuild existing FOBs,” said a WR official.They shall be discussing proper traffic planning, creating a foundation for pillars between two tracks within limited space, modification to OHE equipment, relocating signalling poles and shifting other utilities.The railway board has also given permission to extend the mega block timings at night from 2hours to at least 4 hours to help to carry out safety works.ON THE AGENDAMeanwhile, Director General RPF, Dharmendra Kumar has sent a letter to Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur for proper codification of duties between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) and avoid any overlapping of duties and roles during crises and exigencies. A committee has been formed to decide standard operating procedures to avoid any overlap.

Juvenile involved in Patna blasts that targetted Modi in 2013 gets three years in remand home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Juvenile Justice Board has held a juvenile guilty of being involved in multiple blasts in Patna and Bodh Gaya in 2013 and sentenced him to three years in a remand home in each of the cases, the NIA said today.The Juvenile Justice Board, Patna, in its first judgment in Patna and Bodh Gaya serial blasts cases, has held guilty the juvenile accused, who was involved in the conspiracy of carrying out explosions in both the places.The juvenile has been sentenced to three years in a remand home under each case, a release by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.Multiple blasts at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan took place on October 27, 2013 during the ‘Hunkar’ rally of the BJP’s then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, in which six people were killed and 89 injured.On July 7 that year, the Bodh Gaya temple complex was rocked by a series of explosion just after the morning prayer.As many as 13 bombs were planted, out of which 10 exploded while three live bombs were defused.It appeared that the blasts were carried out with an intention to kill people, including foreign pilgrims, especially Buddhists in order to create terror at a place of worship, the NIA, which probed both the incidents, said.During the investigation, the agency found that the juvenile was involved in the conspiracy of carrying out blasts in both the places.So far, 11 accused have been arrested in the Patna blasts case. Six have been arrested in the Bodh Gaya explosions case.Trials in both the cases are in an advanced stage and judgments are expected soon, the NIA said.

J&K govt left red-faced after jailed separatist leader Asiya Andrabi turns up on Beti Bachao poster!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major embarrassment for Jammu and Kashmir government, a picture of jailed separatist leader Asiya Andrabi has appeared along with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and some other personalities in a poster on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign.The poster aimed at highlighting the women achievers of the country was hoisted at a function held to promote girl education in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area.Andrabi, the pro-Pakistan chief of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (daughters of the nation) organisation, also shares space with Mother Teresa, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, tennis star Sania Mirza and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi among others. Andrabi is currently in jail under Public Safety Act for her separatist activities.She has several cases registered against her including some for hoisting Pakistani flag on August 14 and March 23 — the Independence Day and National Day of Pakistan, respectively.No one from the government, including designated spokespersons, could be reached for their comments on this development.’Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (save girl, educate girl) is one of the prominent campaigns of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis asks people to celebrate pollution-free Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has exhorted people to ensure no damage is caused to the environment while celebrating Diwali and the festivities do not lead to air and noise pollution.The Supreme Court had on Monday banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR until October 31 in an effort to check pollution during Diwali.”All Indian festivals have a bond with nature. People should take precautions that there is no damage caused to the environment so as to be able to live in a healthy and pollution-free environment,” Fadnavis had yesterday said in the Mantralaya. He said this while administering a pledge to a group of school children to celebrate a pollution-free Diwali.While celebrating festivals, it should be ensured that air and noise pollution are not caused, the chief minister said. Maharashtra’s Environment Minister and Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam yesterday told reporters that he would request the chief minister to ban the sale of fire crackers in the state, on the lines of the Supreme Court’s verdict for Delhi- NCR.”The Supreme Court gave its decision that there should not be fire crackers’ shops in residential areas. Keeping people’s health in mind, and there should be no pollution, and for this, everybody should take care,” Kadam said. “I will request the chief minister and see if something similar could be done here as firecrackers cause pollution, human beings and animals get affected and even shops at times catch fire,” the minister had said. The Supreme Court had on Monday directed that its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi- National Capital Region (NCR) would continue till October 31 – Diwali falls on October 19 — in a bid to check pollution during the festival of lights.

Shocking gaffe from Bihar: Kashmir is not part of India, says class 7 question paper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After toppers scam and open cheating disaster, Bihar is in news again, all for wrong reasons.This time a question paper for class VII exam by the Bihar Education Board stated that Kashmir is not part of IndiaAccording to a Times of India report, the question paper asked students to name what the people of five countries — China, Nepal, England, Kashmir and India —are called.“I was on leave and have just resumed work. I will have to look into the matter,” Vaishali district education officer Sangeeta Sinha was quoted as saying by the TOI report.The examination that began on October 5 will end today. The Bihar Education Project Council conducts the exams and the question paper gaffe was highlighted by a student from Vaishali district.BEPC official Prem Chandra knew about the gaffe. “It’s very embarrassing, I admit,” he said and called it a printing error.Earlier this year, a ‘fake topper’ Ruby Rai was arrested by the SIT team in Patna. Rai had claimed that she had asked her father to ensure she just passes in the exams, but he managed to make her the topper in the state.Rai came to limelight after a video went viral in which she described political science as “prodigal science” and stated that political science, a subject she virtually aced, teaches cooking.

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